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Faith & the Political

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The Biennial Conference in Philosophy, Religion and Culture,  Catholic Institute of Sydney, 4 – 5 October 2014.

The theme – FAITH AND THE POLITICAL – is to be interpreted broadly and from the disciplines of philosophy, theology, history, social science, literature and the arts.  Topics that might be investigated include: scandal in/of Christianity; structures of belief and opinion; secularisation, fundamentalism and inculturation; politics in the Bible and the Bible in politics; religion in the public forum; Christian ethics in a liberal democracy; liberation and equality. The conference specifically aims to foster interaction between scholars in the universities and scholars in theological colleges.  It also encourages young scholars.

Keynote Speaker: Peter Forrest: The Epistemology of Scandal

How can you continue to believe in the face of scandals?” This question is not, I submit, merely a manifestation of the ad hominem fallacy exemplified by, “How can you take Frege seriously when he was a bigot?” Nor can it be dismissed by noting that the reality of sin is a central Christian doctrine.  I argue that ‘right reason’ requires not merely the rational assessment of doctrines but a way of deciding which doctrines to assess. Scandal undermines the appeal to authority when assessin g but not the reliance on traditions when deciding what to assess. As a consequence, scandal tends to undermine ‘simple faith’ and mandates the, not necessarily academic, philosophical reflection on faith.

Proposals Due: 20 June 2014

Convenors: Stephen Buckle (ACU), William Emilsen (UTC/CSU), Peter Forrest (UNE), John McDowell (Newcastle), Shane Mackinlay (CTC/MCD), Andrew Murray (CIS/SCD)

Contact: Andrew Murray:

Full details are available on the website:

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